Having a baby? Don’t leave home without these hospital bag essentials! We’ve counted down the best of the best when it comes to labour and postpartum products – here are 27 products to consider packing into your hospital bag.
First things first, when to pack your hospital bag?
This is the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Some mums are extra prepared and have a hospital bag ready to go by 30 weeks while others will wait until the first signs of labour to start packing. This is entirely up to you and how prepared you like to be.
You may want to pack some of the items beforehand and add a few extra to your bag on the day you go – your toothbrush, phone charger, etc.
In terms of the type of bag, you may find that your nappy bag will suffice if it’s big or you may wish to go with a small luggage bag or duffle bag. Keep in mind that you will most likely have your hands full when leaving the hospital with flowers, gifts, a capsule and, of course, a newborn.
So, the name of the game is not to pack light, but rather to pack smart. Below are the things you will NEED.
What to pack for yourself
1. NURSING BRA: Cake Maternity Rock Candy Nursing Bra
Hands down one of the most important things you’ll need is a super soft, super supportive, wire-free nursing bra. Cake Maternity is the expert in all things maternity and postpartum and their Rock Candy nursing bras ($64.90) are the holy grail for breastfeeding bras.
Great for the hospital but also for everyday and light-medium activity such as yoga and walking, you’ll never want to take this comfy nursing bra off. It comes with all bells and whistles you want – removable foam pads, ultra-comfy stretch knit fabric, lots of hook & eye options and zero itchy garment tags and anti-pill yarn. Definitely a must-have for postpartum and beyond!
2. COMFY LEGGINGS: Bamboo Body Slouch Pants
These Bamboo Slouch Pants by Bamboo Body ($79.95) are soft, comfortable and breathable. We think they’re a must for your hospital bag. There is so much to love about them – soft fabric, fold-up/fold-down waistband (WOOT WOOT) and baggy enough that you can wear a pad or support garment without the world knowing.
Plus, they are stylish enough to greet visitors or head to the shops without feeling like you are in your PJs. Honestly, you won’t want to take them off! We’d buy two pairs, just in case!
MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: SAVE 15% OFF any purchase using code MUMCENTRAL at the checkout.
3. MATERNITY BRIEFS: Modibodi Maternity Brief Maxi-24hrs
If sustainability is your vibe, then we recommend swapping disposable maternity pads for planet-friendly Modibodi. Their Modibodi Maternity Brief Maxi-24hrs ($34.50) make the postpartum period as comfortable as possible.
They offer Modibodi’s trusted patent-pending Maxi-24hrs Technology in the full-length gusset which runs from the front to the back waistband and absorbs up to 50ml of fluid – the equivalent of 10 tampons’ worth. Perfect for post-partum bleeding!
Plus they are crafted from super smooth breathable stretch bamboo fabric (helloooo comfort) and have a built-in black lining which is antimicrobial to minimise odour, fight bacteria and resist stains. We also love the wide v-shaped waistband, perfect for our post-baby bellies!
HOT TIP: Bring a bit of washing liquid to gently rinse them under the sink.
4. NURSING PADS: Just’nCase Nursing Pads
Leaky breasts come with the territory post-partum which is why you’ll want to pack nursing pads. You’ll love the breathable and comfortable Just’nCase by Confitex nursing pads ($27.90) that offer the best combination of absorbency, leakproof protection and sustainability of any nursing pads on the market. They were even recently named Product of the Year in the 2021 Plus X Awards.
Just’nCase reusable pads are moulded for comfort, grip to the inside of your bra and feature a patented GravityDri™ pocket to lock in leaks. They’re lab-tested leakproof, PU plastic-free, safe in the tumble dryer and offer superior absorbency and comfort – everything you need and want when breastfeeding.
MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: SAVE 15% OFF with code MumCentral15 at checkout.
5. SKIN BALM: JAK Organics SOOTHE balm
Give your body the best gift of all with a healing balm, ideal for all your sore bits (vagina, breasts) plus your face, neck and hands. JAK Organics SOOTHE balm ($17.95) is an antioxidant-rich blend of cold-pressed organic oils that can be used to heal, replenish and protect the skin.
The all-rounder skin balm is great for massage, vagina after birth healing (also perineum pre-birth), cracked/sore nipples (safe for baby, no need to wipe off before the next feed), sore rashes and dry skin. It’s 100% natural, made with Australian certified organic ingredients and made with eczema-safe ingredients. Apply it directly to your skin or use in the bath – either way, your body will love you for it!
MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: SAVE 20% OFF using code MumCentral at checkout.
6. MATERNITY PADS: Cottons Maternity Pads & Nursing Pads
One of the things you may not be prepared for when it comes to postpartum is the amount of blood. Don’t worry mumma, it’s totes normal and luckily there are maternity pads designed for the crazy postpartum period (no pun intended).
Take Cottons Maternity Pads ($6.00) which use only the highest quality natural chemical-free cotton. They only use chlorine-free, dye-free and scent-free cotton, so that you are getting the most natural cotton – and you can feel the difference. Comfy, discreet and super absorbent, you’ll love Cottons.
Additional items we think you’ll love to pack in your hospital bag!
- Labour aides. You may want to bring your own heat pack, music, massage cream, etc. We also recommend ice packs for after-birth!
- Water bottle and snacks. BRING ALL THE SNACKS.
- Something to wear during birth. Hospitals provide gowns but it’s nice to have a familiar oversized shirt or something comfy to wear during the birth.
- Technology requirements. Phone, phone charger, earphones, etc.
HOT TIP: Invest in an extra-long charger cord as often the electrical outlets are positioned a few metres away from the bed.
- Toiletries: Lip balm, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, hairbrush, body wash, face wash, moisturiser. I brought a bit of makeup too – foundation and mascara. I know it’s not necessary but it made me feel better to have a fresh face, especially if you prefer with visitors coming in.
- Towel and pillow. Hospitals supply these but it’s nice to have your own.
Now for the super practical items … number 18, well that’s up to you! 😉
- Warm socks or slippers. Those hospital tiles are FREEZING.
- Breastfeeding-friendly shirts/singlets to go with your Slouch Pants. Have a look at Cake Maternity, Modibodi or Bamboo Body – they all have some great breastfeeding-friendly tops and PJs.
- Super SOFT toilet paper. Trust us, the two-ply hospital stuff ain’t gonna cut it! BYO.
- Laundry bag. Simply throw all your dirty items in the bag, ready to be emptied into the washing machine when you get home (by your husband, of course).
- Medications. The hospital will supply pain medication but pack any general meds you take. You may also want to slip in a pack of Ural (to reduce the acidity of your urine so it doesn’t sting so much!) as well as a laxative to help get things moving after birth.
- A Nerf gun. Okay, this one is totally optional but this woman packed a NERF gun in labour to shoot at her husband when he fell asleep and we are ALL for it!
What to pack for baby
19. LOTION: Cetaphil Baby Advanced Protection Cream
As you can imagine, baby’s skin may be a little dry after their grand entrance, especially with that cool hospital air! We suggest packing a multi-purpose cream to keep baby’s skin hydrated and protected.
Cetaphil Baby Advanced Protection Cream* ($9.99 RRP) is an ideal choice – it’s non-sticky and specially designed for baby’s delicate skin. It contains allantoin, shea butter, and soothing organic calendula and helps reduce the feeling of irritation and discomfort of very dry, chaffed skin. Great for the hospital bag and beyond!
20. SWADDLE: ergoPouch Newborn Hospital Pack
Wondering what to pack in your hospital bag for your newborn baby to sleep in? After reviewing hospital room temperatures, ergoPouch designed the perfect combination to keep your newborn snug and warm during your hospital stay, no blankets needed!
Their Newborn Hospital Pack ($51.99) includes one 1.0 TOG Cocoon Swaddle Bag and one 0.2 TOG Layers to be worn underneath the swaddle. Made from GOTS certified Organic Cotton, non-toxic and super soft Bamboo, the stretchy and breathable natural fibres will help regulate baby’s temperature and perfect for first baby pics too.
Plus the Cocoon Swaddle Bag makes swaddling simple. The 2-way zip is great for easy nappy changes and arm-studs in the shoulders turn the swaddle into an arms-out sleeping bag when baby shows signs of rolling.
MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: SAVE 20% OFF individually priced products when purchasing the Newborn Hospital Pack. No code needed.
21. NAPPIES: Rascal + Friends Premium Nappies
Don’t forget the nappies! Our top pick for your hospital bag (and baby bag later on) is Rascal + Friends ($14.00). Designed with you and your little human in mind, Rascal + Friends premium nappies tick all the boxes: affordable, safe on sensitive skin, feather-soft material and made with ‘no nasties’. Plus they perform exceptionally with up to 12-hour leak protection.
Made with premium features like double leak guards, stretchy high back waistband and a new wetness indicator, they’ll keep your little one comfy and dry, day and night.
22. WIPES: JAK Organics BABY wipes
Easily wipe sticky messes and baby’s first meconium poo with JAK Organics BABY wipes ($8.95). As you wipe, the wipes clean and soothes while leaving a gentle antibacterial layer of oil that creates a barrier to help protect skin from irritation.
This is a perfect product for anyone with sensitive skin or someone that suffers from dermatitis or eczema. Plus it’s made from eczema safe ingredients, 100% natural and enriched with Australian certified organic ingredients. The wipes are also fully compostable making them the eco-friendly option.
MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: Get a free packet of BABY WIPES with code MumCentralBABY.
Additional items for bub
You may also want to bring:
- Baby blanket. The hospital provides swaddles but it doesn’t hurt to have your own collection too.
- Dummy. Some midwives say “no” to the dummy before three weeks, but, to each their own. I packed one “just in case”. And I used it.
- Bottles and formula. If bottle-feeding.
- Baby beanie. To keep bubba’s head nice and toasty.
- A few newborn onesies. I would stick to either 00000 and 0000 and ones that come with little hand and feet coverings. So cute and great for keeping baby’s itty bitty fingers and toes warm.
We hope our hospital bag checklist helps you get organised for birth and beyond. It can sometimes feel like a game of Tetris trying to squeeze everything you need in your hospital bag, but, hey, think of it as great preparation on how to fit tons of stuff into a single bag – something you’ll be an expert at soon enough!
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